Latin alternative-psychedelic sounds paired with an insane drumline presence and you have Buscabulla’s latest video “Vámono.” The visuals showcase the festive soul of Puerto Rican carnivals. Directed by Claudia Calderon, and inspired by the band, comprised of Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo Del Valle, the video touches on coming back to the isla since living in New York for over a decade.
The boricua diasporic community and culture based in NYC had a major influence on the formation of Buscabulla, translated from the Puerto Rican phrase which means “troublemakers.” Berrios wore many hats as a designer, songwriter, Dj, music producer before meeting Del Valle, a multi-instrumentalist in a gathering. The two embarked on a partnership that flourished both musically and romantically. Together, they dropped their first EP, under the label and clothing brand Kitsuné, in 2014 — after winning a Guitar Center and Converse-sponsored contest, awarding them with studio time and services of producer Dev Hynes, also known by his artistic name Blood Orange. “Metele,” one of the songs from the EP scored a spot in the award-winning film Mala Mala. Just as their daughter Charlie turned three, the couple received a record deal with Ribbon Music/Domino.
The pair’s appreciation towards carnivals — which arose after visiting different towns in Puerto Rico every weekend — is depicted in the video, capturing the essence of the scene and what they view as celebratory resistance.
”We were pretty involved with the whole concept,” Raquel Berrios tells HipLatina, “It was super DIY for us. We helped decorate the float, getting the seamstress, and the guys that performed the wheelie’s.” The video displays children and adults in traditional carnival clothing created in different hues of pinks — served as a contrast to the worn-down buildings surrounding them and the textured walls of the colonial town.
“Our relationship with Puerto Rico is always something that inspires us,” says singer Raquel Berrios. “We always have sounds that are related to the Puerto Rican experience.”
Though usually combining more traditional band elements like bass, Buscabulla opts for diasporic percussions, sampling afro-folkloric styles like bomba and plena.“We like sounds that tend to have more of a Caribbean kind of essence,” says Berrios. The track was the first song written upon the band’s returned to the island. The video, recreates the parades as part of a larger metaphor, with the mass exodus of Puerto Ricans to the mainland U.S. as well as economic decline accompanied by displacement of our people and traditions, we hoped to capture the essence of these festivities, which by their very nature and existence are a form of celebratory resistance,” the band states in the press release.
Ultimately, the record unfolds the band’s experience of coming back home, eight months after Hurricane Maria hit, and Berrios and Del Valle’s hope for the current generation to overcome issues on the island. The band admits that “Vámono” marks the spirit of the album, which extracts optimism and melancholy of the many emotions revolving its themes. The people of Puerto Rico inspired them once more this past July when a week of massive protests called for the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rossello, which lead to the union of folks of all classes and backgrounds. “You saw everybody, I mean almost everybody in the Island, get behind something for the first time in a long time,” Del Valle says.
With an album set to drop in 2020, the band is excited for what’s to come and wants to get involved culturally on speaking about Puerto Rico. They’re also looking forward to using the opportunity to get creative with visuals and making more videos with deeper meanings.